Protecting Nature and Indigenous Rights In One of Earth’s Most Diverse Landscapes

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You probably wouldn’t expect for the name Gucci to come up in a conversation about landscape conservation in South America. But during a recent interview, Lilian Painter, Bolivia Program Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Dorothy S. McCluskey Fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), mentioned the luxury fashion designer while describing efforts to improve livelihoods for the Tacana, an indigenous group living in northwestern Bolivia.
For nearly two decades, the WCS has partnered with the Tacana to help strengthen their territorial rights and enhance indigenous management capacity. Thanks to their efforts and Gucci’s commitment to product sustainability and traceability, Tacana hunters now earn five times more for their caiman skins, which has helped reduce caiman poaching and illegal trade.

Program Empowering Leaders in Tropics Receives $4.9 Million Grant from Arcadia

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The Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), a Yale-based program that makes the latest tools and research in forest restoration and sustainable management accessible to the people who manage tropical landscapes, has received a $4.9 million grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, to continue its work.

Through field-based training, leadership support, innovative online instruction, and open access information, ELTI since 2006 has reached more than 5,000 individuals — including landholders and farmers, practitioners and policymakers — across tropical Latin America and Southeast Asia.

ELTI provides targeted and open access resources that have helped individuals and groups develop local capacity to conserve and restore forest and tree cover that, in turn, supports biodiversity and livelihoods in regions that have endured deforestation and land degradation.

What’s the Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations?

Beneath the heated rhetoric between the United States and Mexico is a complex web of ties that is critical to both countries. Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld recently assembled a group of business and political leaders from both sides of the border to discuss the future of the relationship. He talked to Yale Insights about what he learned from the conversation.

Yale alumna addresses barriers Latino communities face in the environmental field

By combining two of her majors, Geology & Geophysics and Spanish, a recent Yale graduate is working to address the barriers that underrepresented groups face in the environmental field. Ivette López (TC ’16), the Urban Wildlife Refuge Coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, is creating resources and programming that provide greater opportunities for Latino communities at Yale and in New Haven to connect with nature.

The summer after graduating from Yale, López began working for the USFWS New Haven Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. Through community-based wildlife conservation, the partnership creates a network of wildlife-friendly habitats, throughout the New Haven Harbor Watershed. The partnership incorporates various local organizations including the Yale Urban Resources Initiative and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. USFWS staff from the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, assist and advise López in her work.

Yale EFFY 2017 Grand Jury Prize to “Death by a Thousand Cuts,”

EFFY 2017 (L to R) Gerald McElroy, YC ’09, Milagros de Camps German, FES ’17, Juan Mejia Botero, and Maria Lopez-Bresnahan, YC ’78

This year’s Environmental Film Festival at Yale EFFY 2017 awarded its Grand Jury Prize to “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” a documentary on the illegal deforestation of Hispaniola to produce charcoal as a cheap source of fuel for Haiti.  With the sponsorship of Dominican Yale alumni (Milagros de Camps German, FES ’17, Gerald McElroy, YC ’09, and Maria Lopez-Bresnahan, YC ’78), directors Juan Mejia Botero and Jake Kheel’s film submission ( ) powerfully relates the growing tension between the Dominican Republic and Haiti over this illicit mass deforestation and the behind the scenes complexities  perpetuating the situation.

Latino Behavioral Health System improves lives and community

Latino Behavioral Health System collaborators

Listening to his Spanish-speaking clients at the Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven, Dr. Francisco Lopez hears a lot of stories about trauma.

Trauma is an underlying factor in many behavioral health disorders; its destructive impact on a person’s life can be compounded by neglect and isolation. But thanks to the Connecticut Latino Behavioral Health System (LBHS), Dr. Lopez’s clients—and many others like them—are able to access the high quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate care they need.

LBHS is a network of eight providers anchored at the Hispanic Clinic of the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and supported by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS). CMHC, a longstanding partnership between the Yale Department of Psychiatry and DMHAS, is dedicated to providing recovery-oriented services to uninsured or underinsured people.

Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Second Annual ‘Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Addressing Gaps and Working toward Implementation’ will be held on Friday, March 31st, 2017 at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). The conference, now in its second year, engages in addressing the opportunities and challenges of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

This conference is aimed at providing Yale students, and members of the wider community, with an opportunity to engage in a global discussion that has local effects.

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